"This is so ashaming". I am in fact, ashamed of not knowing the correct usage of this word. Isn't it a present participle??

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    I'm flagging this as off-topic ("no research / ELL"). Hi Shani, it's worth checking a dictionary before you ask here, as you would have found "ashaming" is not a word. Our Help Centre says "Be sure to mention the research you've done and what you're still hoping to learn!" For further guidance, see How to Ask and take the EL&U Tour :-) Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 12:05

1 Answer 1


There are few online dictionaries I found that list "ashame" as a transitive verb:

verb (transitive)
to cause to feel ashamed
Used Rarely. ashame is in the lower 50% of commonly used words in the Collins dictionary
Collins English Dictionary v.t.

1.To shame.
Webster's 1913 Dictionary

verb transitive
To shame. [Not used.]
Webster's Dictionary 1828

(transitive, rare)
To make ashamed; to shame.

If you accept "ashame" to be a transitive verb, then what you have in your question ("ashaming") is the present participle of that verb.

Note how few dictionaries actually list this verb. It's extremely rare. You should not use it unless you're prepared to be the target of criticism or are intentionally trying to use a nonstandard and rare word. You would be better off using the transitive verb "shame" instead, which is standard use.

The Wiktionary link contains a number of quotes. I haven't checked through them, but you may be able to judge for yourself if they are likely instances of serious usage, or facetiousness, broken English or historically old usage.

Here are a couple of quotes:

how it ashames me to admit it! - I began to shudder terribly once again.
The Sleeper in the Sands, 1999
A sci-fi novel

the responsibility of it overwhelms me, and the vanity of it ashames me.
Thomas Carlyle: A History of the First Forty Years of His Life, 1795-1835

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